Firing

There’s danger in every aspect of firing, from WARN Act layoffs and exit interviews to constructive discharge and more.

Learn how to fire an employee and sidestep wrongful termination lawsuits, with battle-tested firing procedures, and employment termination letters. At last, you can fire at will!

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Employees don’t qualify for un­­employment benefits if they’re fired for misconduct. After all, it’s their own fault they were fired. Mis­­conduct generally includes actions that violate a so-called “reasonable employer” rule. However, employees who violate an employer’s reasonable rule because of a good-faith error in judgment can still collect benefits.

When employees need intermittent FMLA leave, they are entitled to take time off free from work responsibilities. Of course, that may leave some tasks undone. Some employees, especially those in management positions, may feel obliged to work additional hours, or may sometimes forgo taking leave. As long as there’s no employer pressure to get the work done, that extra work won’t support an FMLA-interference lawsuit.

If you had to, could you quickly produce records showing that every employee who broke the same rule received the same punishment? Would you be able to readily explain any deviations? If you hesitated when answering these questions, it’s time for action.

Make sure your supervisors know they must consider post-surgery ADA accommodations and should forward such requests to HR. Under no circumstances should an employee be summarily fired just be­­cause she’s used up her FMLA leave and still needs help during recovery.

In this economy, employees who have been fired often resort to litigation. Jobs are scarce and litigation looks lucrative. Smart employers protect themselves by carefully documenting exactly why they fired employees.

A federal court has said it will soon decide a case that may make pregnancy discrimination illegal in North Carolina. At issue is whether North Carolina employers are liable for wrongful discharge if they fire a pregnant woman from her at-will job.

If you set rules for employees to follow, then make sure everyone in the organization follows them. That includes supervisors. Otherwise, your policies aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

Some employees who are being sexually harassed may be embarrassed or reluctant to talk about it. Rather than come out and say what happened, they beat around the bush. Smart employers document how they handle vague complaints—and take them just as seriously as other complaints.
The former HR director at J. Chris­­to­­­pher Capital has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Manhattan ven­­ture capital firm, claiming the company’s founder stated that he only wanted gay men and beautiful women working for him.

Q. As a large retail business, we employ several demo reps who present products to shoppers in the hope they’ll buy them. Recently, we’ve had to put increasing pressure on our demo reps to increase sales up to 200%. If a demo rep doesn’t meet the new goal, can we terminate him or her? Do they have legal recourse should they be fired?

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